Let me guess, you are here because someone has spoken to you about the Mary Kay business opportunity and you wanted to know if what they claimed is true.
Is it really possible to earn a full-time income promoting the products from Mary Kay.
The truth is, while you can earn an income with the Mary Kay opportunity, there are many facts hidden from you.
Many Mary Kay customers are complaining about being deceived by their Beauty Consultants, some customers didn’t exactly liked the products, while some would sing praises for Mary Kay.
Who can you trust and who is telling the truth?
In this Mary Kay Scam Review, I aim to help you make an informed decision.
But, before we dive into the business opportunity, let’s understand what the company is all about.
What is Mary Kay?
Mary Kay was founded in 1963 by Mary Kay Ash and it has grown into a multi-billion dollar company.
While Mary Kay Ash has passed away decades ago, the company is now helmed by her son and co-founder Richard Rogers.
Mary Kay is a cosmetic company that operates in a Multi-Level Marketing structure.
Much like any cosmetic company, Mary Kay has several product lines that target different segments of the beauty market.
If you have visited South Korea, you’ll know that there is a vast range of competitors on the market.
There are so many brands and so many competitors, and the only way to rise above all is to have something unique, but unfortunately, I don’t see the uniqueness in the MK products.
Tapping into the beauty market is an uphill battle, especially when you are just one small fish in the big ocean.
So, selling cosmetic products to the mass market is going to be tough, and most likely, the people close to you will already have cosmetic products that they are happy to use on a daily basis.
Mary Kay products are not widely known on the open market.
Their products are exclusively sold through their team of distributors.
Anybody who loves the Mary Kay products, and have an entrepreneurial spirit are welcomed to join the company as a beauty consultant.
You might be interested to know that a minority group of Beauty Consultants has turned the Mary Kay business into their full-time job, while the majority struggles to stay afloat.
I’ll discuss more about the problems most consultants encounter below.
Is Mary Kay a Pyramid Scheme?
Before we discuss on this topic, let’s take a look at this video:
Mary Kay does sound like a pyramid scheme, but in fact it is not.
Yes, you are required to buy some inventory in order to keep the business running, but that doesn’t mean that you have to (but you are sacrificing your success for a peace of mind).
In the Mary Kay’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ), you’ll find this:
Managing sufficient inventory requires knowledge, experience and skill, and if you don’t handle your inventory properly, you’ll end up buying much more products than you can sell which equates to a loss.
And, if you don’t have inventory ready to be sold, most likely, your customers will go to other consultants or try other cosmetic brands on the market.
Common Problems Faced by Beauty Consultants
1. Selling Products to Friends
The problem with hosting home parties for the sake of selling Mary Kay’s products to your friends, is that your friends may not feel the same way as you do.
Most likely or not, you’ll be inviting your friends (close friends whom you’ve lost touch with, or friends who are more like an acquaintance) without telling them what this party is all about.
For a close friend whom you’ve lost touch with would have expected a good time with you without any agenda, and for friends whom you are not so close with will come with a skeptical mind.
If you start promoting Mary Kay’s products to any of your friends on that party, it is quite certain that the relationship may be tarnished.
And, you’ll end up joining the NFL (No Friends Left) club.
2. Hosting a “Lucky Draw”
Who wouldn’t love to be the lucky person to win a free facial treatment? I know I would!
But, little did you know that you are walking into nothing more than just a sales pitch for Mary Kay.
The free facial? You basically have to apply the MK products yourself, and the distributor will watch you doing it.
Honestly, this is a deceptive marketing technique that is not only degrading the worth of the Mary Kay products, but it also ties the company to a scam.
Even if the victim becomes a customer, it will not be a long lasting relationship.
So, why do it to tarnish your own reputation?
3. Inventory issues
If you are hosting a party, you need inventory, lots of them.
Samples for prospects to try on, products to be sold to customers on the spot, as well as products to be delivered to existing customers.
As I’ve mentioned earlier, if you don’t manage your inventory properly, you’ll end up overstocking which is damaging to your business.
4. Selling the Dream
Promoting the MK cosmetic products is already challenging, selling the dream (the business opportunity) is even harder.
Most MK beauty consultants joined the business because of the hope of “firing their boss, and be their own boss one day”.
5. Too much to handle
While you are trying to expand your business, it will be tough for you to handle it all alone.
Fulfillment of orders, hosting home parties, coaching new recruits, finding new leads, handling refunds and complaints, are all part of the business.
And if you are not in this full-time, it is almost impossible to run the business.
Even if you are working on this full-time, I am sure the amount of work will still be overwhelming.
It is no wonder most Mary Kay distributors tend to forget about existing orders, and when the customers have problems with the products, they simply ignore them.
Not because they are lousy human beings, but because they just didn’t have the capacity to please everyone.
And, that’s why there has been so many customer complaints over the poor performance of the beauty consultants.
Why more than 93% of the Beauty Consultants Fail?
More than just the problems that the Beauty Consultants face above, there are several other main factors that cause a consultant to fail in the business, but before we dive into that, I just wanted to show you that the statistic of failure rate is not made up by me, and it can be found on Mary Kay’s website.
Let me break this down for you…
If you don’t read between the lines, you may not get the full picture…
3,818 members of the independent sales force out of the total of 32,400 members made money, which equates to 88% of the members not earning a dime.
32,400 – 3818 = 28,582
28,582 / 32,400 x 100% = 88%
47.4% of the 3818 members (which is 1,810 members) earned in excess of $100 for the year of 2017.
Which means that 93.8% of the entire independent sales force do not earn a substantial amount of money (by substantial I mean $2,500 per month or a full-time income).
(28,582 + 1,810) / 32,400 x 100% = 93.8%
I am sure 93.8% is understated, but there’s not enough evidence given in the above “Earnings Representation”.
Based on the industry standard, 95% to 98% of distributors in the MLM industry fail.
The big question is “WHY”? Why is there such a high failure rate?
Through my past experiences with the MLM industry, I can pinpoint several reasons for failure…
1. Lack of Leads
For any business to prosper, it needs a constant flow of new prospects.
You can start promoting the Mary Kay’s business opportunity to all the people around you (as they’ve recommended), but eventually you will run out of people to talk to.
At that point, you’ll probably feel stuck and do not know what else to do to expand your business.
On top of just finding new leads, keeping existing beauty consultants in your team is also crucial.
Growing the size of your team is the only way for you to advance the rank and make more money.
However, you need to know that the drop-out rate of beauty consultants is extremely high.
So, you always need to find a new replacement for each departing consultant.
Therefore, it is essential for you to learn attraction marketing if you ever want to find success with Mary Kay.
Attraction Marketing is one of the best strategy for you to find an endless stream of highly targeted prospects.
2. Lack of Training and Support
As much as MK likes to centralize its training, by including “Brochures and DVDs with easy-to-learn sales tips” in the “Mary Kay® Starter Kit”, the real training is heavily dependent on the team leaders or upline.
The training provided by MK is not enough to make you succeed.
In order to succeed, you need a successful mentor to coach you.
The problem with this is that, the circle of successful consultants is very small, and finding a mentor from that circle is like finding a needle in the haystack.
As a result, it creates a situation described as “the blind leading the blind”.
Your sponsor may be someone who knows as much as you do.
So, I would suggest that you learn how to grow your MK business with this program.
3. Fear of Facing Rejection
If you are a MK beauty consultant, you are a part of the company’s sales force.
With that, we know that handling rejection is part of being a salesperson.
If you are one who takes rejection personally, then this business is not for you.
Successful MK consultants embrace rejections and use it as a stepping stone for their success.
4. Having the Wrong Mentality
“It’s easy! You can simply work on your MK business a few hours a day, and you’ll be able to fire your boss in 90 days”
Heard of this sentence or something similar?
This is what most consultants will say to entice you to join the business.
But, the truth is far from advertised.
It requires a lot of hard work, persistence, perseverance, patience, and consistency, for the business to work.
Most people join the business thinking that it is easy (as advertised), and when they experience difficulty, they quit.
If you are those who are seeking for “ways to make quick money”, then this business is not for you, in fact, no legitimate business in this world will compensate you for doing little to nothing.
Now, if you think you have what it takes to become successful with Mary Kay, let’s understand how the opportunity work…
How Does the Mary Kay Opportunity Work?
Placing your orders
I’ve found this video that shows you how to purchase products at wholesale through the Mary Kay In Touch system:
Joining the Business Opportunity
Level 1: Independent Beauty Consultant
To become an Independent Beauty Consultant (IBC), you’ll have to invest a $100 for the starter kit and order at least $200 worth of wholesale products.
To maintain the business and participate in the compensation plan, you’ll have to purchase $200 worth of wholesale products every month (or $600 worth of wholesale products in 3 months).
If you want to know what is in the $100 starter kit, you can watch this video:
As an IBC, you can purchase the products at 50% discount and sell it to consumers at the list price, and therefore a 50% profit.
Level 2: Senior Consultant
Once you’ve managed to recruit your 1st IBC, you’ll advance to this rank.
You’ll be able to earn a 4% commission on the sales volume made by any of your recruits.
Level 3: Star Recruiter
Recruit 3 to 4 new IBCs (or maintain 3 to 4 IBCs in your team) will get you this position.
Starting from your 4th recruit, you are entitled to receive a bonus (approximately $50) for each new recruit who made an order of $600 or more.
Your commission rate on your team sales remains at 4%.
Level 4: Team Leader
Recruit 5 to 7 IBCs (or maintain 5 to 7 IBCs in your team) will earn you this title.
Your commission rate on your team member sales jumps to 9%, and if you want to earn a 13% commission rate on your team sales, you’ll have to make a personal product order of $600 or more.
Level 5: Future Sales Director
Your commission rate for your team sales will now be 9% to 13%, and you’ll earn a bonus of $50 for each new recruit.
To reach this position, you’ll need to personally recruit 8 or more IBCs.
Level 6: Sales Director in Qualification
Challenge yourself to build a team of 24 active members within 4 months and you’ll get a chance to attain this position.
Here’s the catch…
10 out of the 24 members must each order $600 or more worth of MK products in that 4 months.
And, the combined team order must be at least $4,000 wholesale per month.
Your commission rate on your team sales remains at 9% to 13%.
Level 7: Sales Director
Once you’ve become a sales director, the bonus for recruiting a new IBC jump to $100 (instead of $50), given that the IBC purchases wholesale order worth of $600 or more.
If the purchase volume of your team is $4,000 or more (based on the wholesale price), you’ll earn a 13% commission rate on the orders, and if it falls below $4,000, your commission rate is 9%.
There are 6 higher positions in the compensation plan:
- Senior Sales Director;
- Executive Senior Director;
- Elite Execute Senior Director;
- National Sales Director;
- Senior National Sales Director; and
- Executive National Sales Director
But I think I won’t be going through each of them, because the majority of the people may not even get to this stage.
My Sincere Advice to You
You need to be passionate about the MK products in order to promote them.
If you join just for the sake of money, sad to say that you will most likely fail (99% of the time).
Obstacles are inevitable in this business, and if you can’t embrace them, you won’t succeed.
So, if you decide to go ahead with the MK business opportunity, I would suggest that you learn attraction marketing first.
Because, it will increase your chance of success dramatically.
What if the Mary Kay business opportunity is not suitable for you...
If you think Mary Kay is not the business opportunity that you are looking for, then I highly recommend that you check out this program.
This is the program that taught how to grow and scale a six figure online business, and it has allowed me to quit the rat race. Here's my humble story from the beginning, if you are interested.
Thank you so much for reading this review! I hope I have provided everything you need to make an informed decision.
If you’d like to share your Mary Kay experience, please, feel free to leave a comment in the comment section below.
And, if you think this review is helpful, please share it with others who needs this information.
Mary Kay Review Summary
Name: Mary Kay
Description: Mary Kay is a cosmetic Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) company that has been around since 1963. Looking at its track record, it is obvious that Mary Kay is not a scam. However, plenty of Mary Kay customers are complaining about being deceived by their Beauty Consultants, some customers didn’t exactly like the products, and most importantly, the vast majority of Mary Kay consultants ended up not making an income and we will discuss in this review why.
- Overall Mary Kay Business Opportunity Rating
More Info On Mary Kay Business Opportunity
Founder: Mary Kay Ash
Price: $100 (Starter Kit) + Products
Recommended? Yes and No (Read on to decide if this business is for you)